Karishma Kapur always had a keen passion for fashion since her growing up years.
Having gained an MSc. in Econometrics from the University of Mumbai, she spent a few years leading a reputed role at Yes Bank, but soon after, her passion drove her to start designing and making garments for friends and family.
Prior to setting up her bootstrapped organisation, Karishma made use of her family-owned garage space and started out with just two tailoring machines and two tailors. Over time, she set up a 800 sq.ft. workshop, which today has grown into a 5,000 sq. ft. export house and garment design/manufacturing factory located in Andheri East, Mumbai, that gives birth and vision to some of the most exciting fashion brands today.
Founded in 2009, the proprietary was rebranded as The O.D.D Factory in 2018-2019, and boasts of a 20+ permanent member force, 50 craftsmen, a dedicated QC, pattern makers, graders, embroiderers and job workers.
Karishma’s younger sister TuriyaKapur, who holds an MSc. in Investment Analysis from Aston University, is currently working with Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. and alongside accelerates the business strategy and finance for The O.D.D Factory.
Arpana S.Ahluwalia is Partner- Production & Luxury Design at The O.D.D Factory, and has studied Fashion at Wigan & Leigh, and additionally handles Client Communications for the company.
Together, the three of them creatively run The O.D.D Factory, which essentially stands for Order, Design and Dispatch – a term jointly coined by Turiya& Karishma given the USP of their factory i.e. – Taking on Bespoke Client Orders, Communicating, Helping and Collaborating with clients to create Designs that vibe with their target audience, brand positioning and markets. Thereafter, the factory takes care of end-to-end Dispatch.
Through this process, the client receives a one-stop solution to all fashion and manufacturing services, seamlessly.
“The reason it resonated so smoothly is because it is ‘ODD’ that a factory works with bespoke production, low MOQs, guides you and helps you with design, re-creates and re-purposes your scrap, so as a client, you not only get access to zero waste production but, you also get the best quality of products with people who understand your requirement, communicate constantly and deliver perfection, sometimes even basis just a Pinterest reference!” Karishma Kapur, Proprietor of The O.D.D Factory, told Apparel Resources (AR) in an exclusive interview.
The O.D.D Factory primarily caters to international designers, boutiques, brands and budding women entrepreneurs in the field of fashion retail and trade. Their extensive client base boasts of brands from across the world including Australia, Singapore, Kuwait, Riyadh, Dubai & Sharjah, Europe, United Kingdom & Miami.
Post the pandemic, The O.D.D Factory decided to expand at a local level, by supporting and catering to upcoming and growing homegrown brands within India. “As we understand what ‘low or holding no inventory’ means. We support brands by manufacturing small quantities as well as large quantities no matter how intricate the design,” TuriyaKapur, Business Partner and Head of Business Strategy and Finance at The O.D.D Factory,said.
The O.D.D Factory manufactures a wide range of products in all sizes across women’s westernwear, kidswear, bridalwear, haute couture, luxury fashion, other bespokewear, kaftans and abayas, home linen, simple hair and fashion accessories, and also provides embroidery panels, fabric packaging services and fabric sale, amongst others.
“We know design is an iterative process, which is why we are happy to work on small pieces or samples until you get the right look and feel. If you need to experiment with a new idea, we’re the partner for you.” – Karishma Kapur, Proprietor of The O.D.D Factory
In this regard, the company undertakes a varied and expansive list of services right from digital printing, brand label making, hand and machine embroidery, upcycling, repurposing to collection and mood board development, pattern making and grading, making, stitching, finishing and shipping after thorough quality control, etc.
Notably, The O.D.D Factory works with its clients to achieve realistic zero waste assembly lines. Brand sustainability matters to them, hence they constantly work towards providing zero waste solutions, alternatives to costly processes and maxed out efficiency in production lines.
Commenting on the same, Turiya said, “Because we understand the importance of your brand standing out as a sustainable label and we value a consciousness that helps us be a conscious eco-fashion factory.”
Karishma added, “We champion a zero-waste policy – scraps left during the production process are collected day-on-day and are segregated at the end of the week. For clients interested in zero waste, the separation process is slightly different – once a suitable quantity of scrap is gathered, we sort it to plan accessory, product or garment re-creation.”
The company is a part of The Fashion Revolution and regularly upgrades its workforce with continuous training, skill development, equal and fair pay.
“Our processes are transparent and clean, right from our workers, to our clients, everyone knows #whomadeyourclothes and #whatsinyourclothes.” Karishma stated.
Furthermore, The O.D.D Factory also provides clients with packaging solutions in terms of materials, whether it be customised fabric packaging or paper packaging solutions including the wrap, the poly bags, brand tags, etc.
Apparel Resources (AR):Take us through your design process– from ideation to completion.
KK: After understanding the clients’ requirements through electronic communications, we create spec sheets and put sampling into execution. Through this process, we send images to our clients and provide design inputs based on what we feel will look better, especially given that they are in a different country.
Sometimes if a garment is complex, we also make a mock sample. Thereafter, the client is taken through a host of images and videos explaining the process. The process involves organising the trims, fabric dyes/prints/embroidery developments, etc.
Upon all finalisations and approvals, a photoshoot-ready sample is shipped to the client. Based on the sample, we undertake orders for bulk production.
AR: What are some of the techniques/treatments that The O.D.D Factory excels in?
KK: We aim to provide top-of-the-class pattern making services, manufacturing bespoke women and kidswear, designing and manufacturing luxury and bridalwear, and designing, upcycling and manufacturing a garment sometimes simply even based on a Pinterest reference sent!
AR:Please shed light on tech specs, CAD and pattern and grading sheets services that you offer. What can clients expect?
KK: Tech specs come to us from the client. We develop the pattern and lay down fabric consumptions basis their tech pack. Patterns, grading and grading sheets are developed by us for the client for sizes XS, S, M, L, XL and FS, which are then e-mailed to the client for each style graded.
|What sets The O.D.D Factory apart from other manufacturers?
● It is a women-led organisation
● It ensures that communication and design deliverance is excellent between them and the client
● They offer value–added services to the client such as – latest trends, new concepts, new product ideas, fabric alternatives and other suggestions which are more favourable to the client
● They are not MOQ Bound
● They are not restricted to garments. They offer basic services like printing on fabric, purchasing stock material and trims, re-using excess stock, etc.
● They develop and design upcycled collections for clients, to help them grow the slow fashion way
● They are a present-day factory that co creates sustainable fashion
AR: What are the MOQs that you work with and what are your delivery timelines dependent on?
KK: Our MOQs for sampling are 5 pieces, whilst for production, the MOQs are 30 pieces total. The factory capacity is minimum of 1,000 pieces per month. Delivery timelines completely depend upon the complexity of style, quantity and factors such as number of changes made during production.
“We do not limit our services to fashion labels. Whether you’re a brand looking to expand into merchandise, a designer looking to start garment production, an artist/designer wanting to print fabric, an individual looking to create a customised wardrobe, a conscious consumer looking to upcycle – O.D.D is here for you!” – Turiya Kapur, Business Partner and Head of Business Strategy and Finance at of The O.D.D Factory
AR:How can someone place an order with you? What are the steps involved and what can one expect from the association?
KK: Brands and entrepreneurs can email us at email@example.com, or alternatively connect with us on Whatsapp or drop in a call. Once connected, we ask them for their styles/style references and then set up a call time suitable to their time zone as well (in case of international clients).
Over the call we aim to understand all details and thereafter communicate a quote for sampling as well as volume production, basis their target pricing and brand goals, the overall discussions and other key aspects. Sampling is put into execution thereafter.
Through the association, our clients receive 100 per cent pure fabric and raw material qualities, perfection in finishing and product quality, ongoing and real time communication of the entire process over Whatsapp/call/mail, best value for pricing and a transparent value and supply chain.
We have a 90 per cent client as well as worker loyalty rate. We grow with our clients and our employees as a family. Our karigars have been with us for almost a decade, since Day 1 and so have most of our clients. –Karishma Kapur, Proprietor of The O.D.D Factory
AR:What is the minimum investment required on part of a brand willing to start out in the industry with you? How are your services priced?
KK: A brand should set aside at least US $700 to get started. At a local level, given that not every brand is interested in very high quality of materials, an investment of Rs. 35,000 is also good to go.
At The O.D.D Factory, pricing varies based on the detailing involved in the design, the quantity of products being ordered, the choice of fabrics chosen, etc. But in a nutshell, pattern development starts at US $30 per style, and pattern grading starts atUS $25 per grade.
Should a client want only 1 sample, say worth US $150, earlier we would still make it but given the inflationary scenario the entire textile supply chain has come under recently, we have started keeping our sampling MOV at US $500 and thereafter adjusting a differential if any, against their production order.
AR: What, according to you, is driving consumption in fashion and apparel categories in the Indian market?
KK: The Indian market has always had a demand for trending apparel. It’s about maintaining a balance between quality and price. Consumption is driven by constant awareness of campaigns such as #whomademyclothes, the #slowfashionmovement and support for smaller brands.
AR: What is a common misconception brands have while working with manufacturers based in India?
KK: At a global level, people misjudge Indian factories to be cheap and extra reasonable. However, our services come with very high quality and creativity.
Hence, more often than not, we are never able to provide people with pricing such as US $30 a dress or US $20 a dress, unlike many factories in Delhi, China or even Bangladesh can afford. A low-price range of US $30 a piece comes about only when it is a 100+ per style order for a very simple and basic style.
We hope that soon, people across the globe realise the value, hard work and dedication that is put behind by every hand right from us to our workers who are like family to us, in delivering the most perfect garment.
LOOKING AT THE FUTURE
The company is all set to expand in the future with the launch of its own retail fashion brand that will cater to everyday modest wear and accessories.
The entire collection will be upcycled. The company will be collaborating with artists, designers and individuals for limited edition drops through which the brand will focus on ‘unboxing happiness’ .
“The brand will focus on mental health and support NGOs through the sale of its product,” Turiya explained adding, “We will also be collecting thrift-worthy clothes from interested individuals to repurpose them. It’s an exciting concept and one that is hard to explain but we are looking forward to launch sometime towards the end of January 2022.”
The O.DD. Factory is currently undergoing a restructuring within the organisation, post which all three partners will hold different roles and responsibilities –Turiya is all set to take on the role of Proprietor replacing her sister Karishma as part of family lineage as Karishma shifts her focus towards the intricacies of the production process by assuming the role of B2B Sampling/Design Execution and Design Head – Retail. The restructuring will see Arpana take on the role of B2B Client Communications, Sales & Procurement Head – Luxury and Haute Couture.
These changes come in place as Karishma looks towards maintaining a balance between professional life and family life, having given 12 years to the company and making it reach the heights that it is at today.
The trio also plan to retail exquisite Indo-westernwear and kidswear targeting the international and local mass premium market, through O.D.D.